Nissan turns over new Leaf ? and it’s electric

Author: By Sarah Arnott

The “Leaf” is Nissan’s first move into the “green” car
market, which until now has been dominated by part-electric, part-petrol
hybrid models from rivals such as Toyota and Honda.

Fully electric cars are still a niche product, hampered by the technical
challenges of battery life, the infrastructural challenges of charging
points and the high costs of the new technology.

But Nissan claims its Leaf does 100 miles on each charge and the expensive
lithium-ion battery may be leased, keeping the price on a par with
petrol-engine equivalents such Nissan’s Versa.

Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive, hailed “the unveiling of a real-world
car that has zero ? not simply reduced ? emissions”.

The Leaf goes on sale in Japan and America next year, and worldwide from 2012,
by which time Nissan hopes its factories will be churning out 100,000 a
year.

It has some serious catching up to do. Toyota and Honda both released upgraded
models of their Prius and Insight hybrids earlier this year.

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